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Province won't accelerate AstraZeneca second doses

Thunder Bay District Health Unit says they are expecting to acquire AstraZeneca vaccines in time to start giving out second doses, beginning in early July.
Astra Zeneca Vaccine
The Astra Zeneca vaccine. (Astra Zeneca photo)

THUNDER BAY – Dr. Janet DeMille says she expects more AstraZeneca vaccinations will be delivered to the District of Thunder Bay in the near future.

About 2,000 people living in the region received the vaccine as a first dose and are thus eligible for a second dose 12 weeks after the first.

“We know that AstraZeneca was first given here in the first week of April, so 12 weeks afterward would be the beginning of July. That’s when people should roughly time their second dose. We are expecting some AstraZeneca to be able to do that,” DeMille said.

“If an individual wants to get AstraZeneca for their second dose, it would likely be through the pharmacy that they received it or through primary care.”

DeMille said should somebody not want AstraZeneca as their second dose, there will be options made available at the appropriate time.

The province has given the OK for AstraZeneca recipients to mix dosages, enabling them to receive an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna, as their second shot.

Those too will come at the 12-week mark.

“People will be able to receive that through pharmacies that have it or primary care, or even through our clinics here in Thunder Bay,” DeMille said.

Health Minister Christine Elliott on Thursday shot down the possibility of accelerating the 12-week wait period.

Quebec two weeks ago announced it was shortening the time between AstraZeneca doses to as little as eight weeks.

Elliott said Ontario will stick with 12 weeks.

“The information that we have, the evidence that we have, from the medical experts in Ontario, suggests that the time limit between first and second doses for AstraZeneca, is 12 weeks. That is the gold standard and that’s why we’re relying on that and continuing to have that as the rule for dosages and second doses of AstraZeneca.”

At present, only those who received an AstraZeneca vaccine between March 10 and March 19 are able to book a 12-week second dose, and only in certain hotspots. Most who received the vaccine already have second doses booked at a 16-week interval.


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Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 19 years and has served a similar role with TBNewsWatch.com since 2009. Wants his Expos back. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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